hong kong

Police say man who stabbed Hong Kong actor is schizophrenic   -15%

Police in southern China said the man who stabbed veteran Hong Kong actor Simon Yam at an event suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. A 53-year-old man, surnamed Chen, was detained following … Click to Continue »

Hong Kong police seize explosives as rival camps rally   9%

Police in Hong Kong discovered a stash of a powerful homemade explosive as the semi-autonomous Chinese city readied for another major pro-democracy protest on Sunday following a pro-Beijing rally that … Click to Continue »

Indonesia Open: Srikanth Kidambi loses to Ng Ka Long Angus in straight sets   -2%

Srikanth Kidambi was knocked out of the Indonesia Open tournament after he faced a 17-21, 19-21 defeat at the hands of Hong Kong’s Ng Ka Long Angus.

What Is Britains Responsibility to Hong Kong?  

When millions of people took to the streets of Hong Kong in recent weeks to protest an extradition bill that would make it easier for people arrested in the city to face trial elsewhere, including mainland China, several countries, such as Canada and the U.S., as well as the European Union defended the protesters.

But for perhaps no country is this more personal than Britain. As Hong Kong’s former colonial power, Britain played a primary role in the city’s return to Chinese sovereignty more than two decades ago. It’s also a signatory to the agreement guaranteeing Hong Kong’s limited autonomy from Beijing—a status protesters fear is now under threat. But the political impasse over Brexit is dominating British political discourse, ensuring that issues like Hong Kong remain in the foreign-policy periphery.

Still, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt raised the topic in a statement marking the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China.

“It is imperative that Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, and the rights and freedoms of the Hong Kong people, are fully respected,” he said. “We have made our position on this clear to the Chinese Government, both publicly and in private, and will continue to do so.”

For the Chinese, however, what may have been acceptable in the 1990s, when Beijing was still a rising power, is no longer acceptable now. Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese ambassador to London, framed Hunt’s remarks as improper interference in China’s internal affairs.

“In the minds of some people, they regard Hong Kong as still under British rule,” he said in response, adding: “They forget … that Hong Kong has now returned to the embrace of the motherland.”

[Read: Why these Hong Kong protests are different ]

Britain’s connection to Hong Kong isn’t tenuous. Prior to its return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, the city was considered the last jewel of Britain’s colonial empire. When British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984, setting the terms of Hong Kong’s eventual transfer to Chinese control, both sides agreed that Hong Kong would retain for 50 years following the 1997 handover certain rights and freedoms not seen in mainland China. Under this “one country, two systems” arrangement, Hong Kong enjoys a degree of autonomy from Beijing, including an independent judiciary, and a separate financial and immigration system. Unlike residents of mainland China, for example, the people of Hong Kong have the right to freedom of expression and protest.

At the time, Britain envisioned that it would, if necessary, be able to help maintain Hong Kong’s autonomy. In briefing notes that have since been declassified by the British Foreign Office, Thatcher was advised to reaffirm that Britain would have the “right to raise any breaches with China after 1997” and that it “would not hesitate to do so.” Despite London’s concerns over the proposed extradition bill (which was suspended in response to the protests, though not withdrawn completely), it has stopped short of declaring the proposal a breach of the British-Chinese agreement—a charge that has only been made once, following the Chinese government’s crackdown on Hong Kong booksellers in 2016.

Some, such as Chris Patten, the last British governor to Hong Kong, have argued that the efforts to undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy are enough to warrant further British action.

“The proposed legislation was at the very least a breach in the spirit of the joint declaration,” Benedict Rogers, the founder of the British NGO Hong Kong Watch and the deputy chairman of the U.K. Conservative Party’s Human Rights Commission, told me, noting that a failure to act could be interpreted by China as a “green light to continue encroaching on Hong Kong’s freedom.”

Still, such action would likely be ignored by Beijing, which has already stated in recent years that the agreement, much like Britain’s hold on Hong Kong, is merely historical and no longer holds any “practical significance.”  

“There is nothing explicit in the joint declaration … no phrase that can be used to justify saying Britain has some legal responsibility to Hong Kong anymore,” Tim Summers, a former British diplomat and a Hong Kong–based senior consulting fellow at Chatham House, a British think tank, told me, explaining that even if Britain were to speak more forcefully on this issue, it lacks the leverage to change Beijing’s thinking. “More than what the U.K. says, Beijing is more sensitive to opinion and views in Hong Kong,” he said.

[Read: The search for a Brexit-era Margaret Thatcher]

In any case, Britain’s responsibility to Hong Kong may be irrelevant. The country’s diminishing international presence—precipitated, in large part, by its political upheaval at home—hasn’t made its leverage any stronger. Its imminent exit from the EU, paired with its desire to strike bilateral trade deals around the world, has limited what Britain can (or is willing) to say to countries with whom it disagrees—so much so that the candidate tipped as most likely to become its next prime minister opted against defending Britain’s diplomat in Washington in order to please the American president.

“Britain would be in a stronger position if it can mobilize other countries to stand with it,” Rogers said. “What we can do alone is more limited than it used to be.”

But Patten, who has remained a strident critic of China’s influence in Hong Kong, as well as Britain’s response, or lack thereof, recently wrote that he subscribes to the “rather old-fashioned view that doing the right thing in foreign affairs is usually the right thing to do.”

“Britain may have lost some of its soft power recently. It would be nice to think, however, that it still understands how to behave with integrity,” he wrote in the Financial Times. “Our own ‘golden age’ with China should put more emphasis on honour and less on ‘fear and greed.’ That is where our national interest really lies.”  

Hong Kong actor Simon Yam stabbed on stage in China   -5%

An unknown assailant stabbed Hong Kong actor Simon Yam on Saturday during a promotional event in mainland China but Yam's injuries were not life-threatening, Chinese state media reported.

Thousands in pro-police rally as Hong Kong braces for another mass protest  

Tens of thousands gathered in Hong Kong on Saturday to voice support for the police and call for an end to violence, after a wave of protests against an extradition bill triggered clashes between police and activists and plunged the city into crisis.

Hong Kong police find explosives on eve of latest protests   21%

Police warn of possible violence as man is arrested after ‘extremely powerful’ explosives found

Police in Hong Kong are warning of possible violence on the eve of another mass protest against a controversial extradition bill after making “the largest seizure” of explosives in the territory.

The seizure came on the day that thousands of pro-government supporters took part in a rally.

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Former JPMorgan senior banker pleads not guilty to HK bribery charges   -20%

JPMorgan’s former Asia investment banking vice-chair, Catherine Leung, pleaded not guilty to charges of bribery in a Hong Kong court on Thursday. Leung is alleged to have offered

Hong Kong tourism, hotel occupancy falls as protests drag on   -26%

Hong Kong tourism numbers are falling and hotel occupancy rates are slumping after the Chinese-ruled city was rocked by sometimes violent political protests over the last month, adding pressure on its

Taiwan open to granting Hong Kong protesters asylum   -33%

Taiwan's government has said it would provide assistance to Hong Kong protesters on humanitarian grounds. The pledge risks straining the already tense relationship between Taipei and Beijing.

Hong Kong protesters target traders from mainland China   -70%

Thousands of Hong Kongers once again took to the streets in protest, this time to vent out their anger at traders from mainland China who buy goods in Hong Kong and resell them across the border.

Hong Kong protesters vow to keep up pressure  

As Hong Kong reels under the largest protests in its history over an extradition bill, experts say the protest movement is evolving into a permanent campaign seeking to preserve the city's civil liberties.

Explosives found in Hong Kong as rally supports police  

The largest discovery in Hong Kong of an explosive material favoured by terrorists and dubbed the "mother of satan" has been described as "deeply troubling" by Hong Kong police on the eve of more protests.

Post-it protest in support of Hong Kong backlash over extradition plan  

Hundreds of post-it notes fluttered over graffiti on Hosier Lane in central Melbourne on Saturday in a message of support to pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

'He's a good man': Waller backs comeback king Nash   12%

Australia's leading group 1 trainer has booked the champion jockey for his first meeting back after a 15-month ban imposed by Hong Kong stewards.

Casting Hong Kong protesters and police as either angels or demons makes for an eternal stalemate   5%

Whichever side you support, the repeated clashes between protesters and police officers – most recently last weekend in Sha Tin – have been very hard to watch, and the animosity reflects not only the division in Hong Kong society, but also how our minds too often split the world into good versus bad. First, let us acknowledge that the anti-extradition bill movement that has divided Hong Kong might be a misnomer. The opposition is not to the bill per se. What has moved many to action seems to…

Beset by fears for Hong Kongs future as extradition bill protests continue to rage, many in the city are thinking of leaving   -16%

H. Wong’s anxiety has grown every time he saw videos or news footage of police firing tear gas and wrestling with protesters in Hong Kong in the past month, which has prompted him to seriously ponder a long-term way out for his family – emigration.The 46-year-old professional in the education sector has witnessed the 1997 handover, boom and bust in the city and what he calls the increasing penetration of mainland Chinese culture and waning freedom.The protest against the now-suspended…

Cesar Pelli, architect who designed IFC2, Shanghai World Financial Centre and Petronas Towers, dies at 92   -20%

Architect Cesar Pelli, renowned for designing some of the world’s tallest buildings, has died, his firm said. He was 92.Pelli, an Argentine-American whose work ranged from skyscrapers in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur and New York to an arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, died on Friday at his home in New Haven, Connecticut, said Anibal Bellomio, a senior associate architect at Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects.Pelli’s cause of death wasn’t specified.After growing up in Depression-era Argentina, Pelli…

Hong Kongs property buyers are rushing for the sidelines to wait out citys festering political crisis and almost-daily protest rallies   -5%

Hong Kong’s residents are rushing for the sidelines in the city’s property market, as a political crisis festers while street rallies that have persisted for more than a month have deteriorated into violence.Sales of lived-in homes will fall 35.5 per cent to a five-month low of 2,600 transactions in July, with the value expected to drop 33.7 per cent to HK$24 billion (US$3.07 billion), according to a forecast by Centaline Property Agency. Even the flipping of car-parking space - a unique short…

Extradition bill protests: why have Hong Kongs business elite and tycoons abandoned Carrie Lam?   -14%

It was a dry autumn afternoon in mid-October 2014 and the Occupy protesters’ sit-in on the major thoroughfares of Hong Kong was entering its third week.The demonstrators were tidying up their supplies and makeshift tents when word rippled through the crowd of advice coming from an unlikely quarter.Li Ka-shing, the city’s richest man, had a message for protesters. Li, known for his reticence, issued a statement urging them to give up the streets.Hong Kong extradition bill explained: the mess and…

Police looking for more than 700 core extradition bill protesters involved in recent clashes in Hong Kong   -23%

Hong Kong police are trying to track down more than 700 core extradition bill protesters believed to be behind recent violent confrontations, including the bloody clashes in a shopping centre last Sunday and the 11-hour trashing of the city’s legislature on July 1, the Post has learned.Force insiders said most of those wanted are under the age of 25 and include many students from high schools, postsecondary institutions and universities in the city.One source said several of the protesters had…

Giving peace a chance with Hong Kongs Lennon Wall War   19%

There’s a war raging across Hong Kong these days and it’s as ugly as it is beautiful, bringing out the best and worst of this city.It’s being fought on crowded streets, through tunnelling underpasses and along snaking footbridges, with pens for guns and Post-it notes for ammunition. Welcome to the Lennon Wall War.The origins of this unique conflict date back to the Occupy pro-democracy protests of 2014, when youngsters plastered a wall outside government headquarters with colourful Post-it…

Hong Kong protesters went to Taiwan in June to explore options for asylum   -15%

Hong Kong extradition bill protesters went to Taiwan to explore the possibility of seeking asylum there in June – before the legislature was stormed, according to sources based on the self-ruled island.“Around mid- to late June, a group of students came to Taiwan to research their options for seeking refuge and the conditions for them to remain here under Taiwanese law, at a time of peril in Hong Kong,” said one of the sources, who requested anonymity.The Hong Kong students did not stay for…

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing pays for Shanghai dancers trip to Japan after meeting them at airport   -4%

Christmas came early for a group of children from Shanghai on Tuesday when they met Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing at an airport in Japan while en route to a dance competition and he offered to pay for their trip … and buy them each a gift.The 45 youngsters and their teachers from the Little Pigeon Dancing Group in the east China metropolis were passing through New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands, when the serendipitous meeting happened, according to…

Hong Kong lawmaker Ann Chiang and Civil Human Rights Front convenor Jimmy Sham locked in heated Facebook row over his sexual orientation   7%

A pro-establishment lawmaker in Hong Kong locked in a Facebook row over the sexual orientation of a social activist has hit back at her target, demanding that he face criticism and doubling down on an earlier accusation that he was “deliberately hiding”.Denying she was discriminating against him, legislator Ann Chiang Lai-wan wrote on the social media platform on Friday that Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit, the openly gay convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front, was “not ready yet”, if he considered…

Suspected leak of personal data of Hong Kong leader, top officials and lawmakers on Telegram app popular with protesters sparks call for police probe   30%

A suspected leak of the personal data of Hong Kong’s leader, top officials and lawmakers on an online messaging platform popular with extradition bill protesters has sparked calls for a police investigation.Among the people affected were Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung and Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu, who reportedly had their dates of birth, personal mobile numbers and social media…

Three arrested over Hong Kongs largest-ever bomb plot on eve of major anti-government protest   6%

Hong Kong police have detained three men after seizing what is being billed as the largest amount of the deadliest explosives ever uncovered in the city, along with pro-independence materials, from a home-made laboratory in a Tsuen Wan industrial building on the eve of another major anti-government march.Controlled explosions were conducted on site at the Lung Shing Factory Building on Texaco Road on Saturday as the police bomb squad disposed of some of the extremely powerful and highly…

Hong Kong volunteers bring news of extradition bill protests to citys visually impaired  

The protests against Hong Kong’s controversial extradition bill have been all over the news in recent weeks, but for the likes of Jasmine Lee, who is blind but wants to know more about what’s going on, information has been hard to come by.With no vision, the 27-year-old relies on the voice-over function of her smartphone, which automatically reads out text, to consume news.However, as visual elements, including videos and photographs, dominate today’s media, she finds it difficult to get…

Hong Kong actor Simon Yam Tat-wah returns to Hong Kong after knife attack in southern China  

Hong Kong actor Simon Yam Tat-wah has returned to Hong Kong after undergoing surgery for wounds sustained during a knife attack on Saturday morning while he was attending a promotional event in southern China.The 64-year-old was a guest at the opening of a new Beijing Easyhome store in the city of Zhongshan, Guangdong province, when an assailant rushed at him wielding a knife.He arrived in Hong Kong late Saturday night and was admitted to Adventist Hospital.Zhongshan police on Saturday evening…

Taiwan struggling to deal with influx of Hong Kong protesters seeking refuge   25%

Taiwan is struggling to handle the sudden arrival of dozens of extradition bill protesters from Hong Kong who want to seek refuge on the self-ruled island.Although members of Taiwanese civil society have already offered safe houses for the new arrivals, their status remains unclear since the protesters have not yet been charged with criminal offences in Hong Kong and verifying their claims to have taken part in the mass protests will be tricky.Legal analysts also warned that the situation would…

Tsai Ing-wen says friends from Hong Kong will be considered for asylum on humanitarian grounds   15%

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has acknowledged for the first time claims that Hong Kong protesters are fleeing to the self-ruled island and said it would consider any applications to seek shelter there on humanitarian grounds.Tsai was speaking after media reports suggested that at least a dozen and as many as 60 protesters had arrived in Taiwan or were planning to seek shelter there, following protests and violent clashes in Hong Kong over the city’s extradition bill.“I believe relevant…

Singapore had its own agenda when criticising Britains handling of Hong Kongs early 1990s electoral reform, declassified cables show  

Britain suspected Singapore had its “own agenda” in the early 1990s when it criticised London’s handling of a dispute with Beijing over Hong Kong’s electoral reform, declassified diplomatic files have revealed.In 1994, J.S. Smith, the private secretary to then foreign secretary Douglas Hurd wrote to Roderic Lyne, a private secretary to then prime minister John Major, that Lee Kuan Yew, then senior minister of Singapore, had consistently criticised the British government’s approach to Beijing on…

What Hong Kongs largely peaceful protesters can teach demonstrators in India   -24%

As an Indian, I have been watching the unfolding protests in Hong Kong with interest. Like in Hong Kong, protests in India are often motivated by anger towards the government. In June 2018, Indian farmers highlighted their dire economic circumstances by dumping produce on highways, suggesting that selling their harvest was as good as throwing it away. In November, farmers from across the country undertook a massive rally to New Delhi, demanding a special parliamentary session to discuss the…

European MPs motion calls for Hong Kong to withdraw extradition bill and start democratic reform  

More than a tenth of the European Parliament’s 751 members have come together to call for the Hong Kong government to formally withdraw its extradition bill and introduce democratic reforms, and demand an EU-wide ban on supplying weapons to the city’s police.The motion, which will be “urgently” debated on Thursday, was tabled by 85 members on Wednesday, just a day after the parliament approved the nomination of Ursula von der Leyen as president of the European Commission, the European Union’s…

China scrambles to deliver new Hong Kong strategy but military response not an option   6%

Mainland Chinese officials in charge of Hong Kong affairs are working on a comprehensive strategy to solve the city’s political crisis that will be presented to the top leadership for deliberation soon, according to people familiar with the discussion, but resorting to military force is not on the table.Officials are developing both an immediate strategy to handle the increasingly violent weeks-long protests in the city, as well as a long-term plan that may lead to an overhaul of Beijing’s…

Extradition bill protests: what Hong Kongs history of riots can teach Carrie Lam   -33%

Temperatures are rising, tensions are boiling over, and the city’s leaders are feeling the heat of the worst political unrest since Britain handed back its colonial jewel to China more than 20 years ago. Now, it seems, is the summer of Hong Kong’s discontent.Since an estimated 2 million-plus people – more than a quarter of the city’s population – took to the streets last month to oppose a bill that would allow for extraditions to territories the city does not currently have agreements with,…

US calls off speech by former Hong Kong envoy amid fear of derailing trade talks   3%

A scheduled speech at a Washington think tank by the former United States consul general to Hong Kong has been postponed on the orders of the US State Department, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.Kurt Tong, who retired as Washington’s envoy to Hong Kong and Macau last week, was to deliver a keynote speech on Wednesday at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) to address Hong Kong’s relationship with China and comment on the direction of US economic…

Plan to let Hong Kong people join Chinese army shelved in wake of extradition bill crisis   6%

The continuing controversy over the Hong Kong government’s controversial extradition bill has left plans to make it easier for local residents to join the Chinese military and government in limbo, sources with knowledge of Beijing’s policies towards the city said.“Given the current political situation, discussions like enrolling Hong Kong people into the army and the civil service system are going to be very difficult to carry on at the moment,” an official who is close to Beijing policymakers…

Sun Hung Kai, Hongkong Land apply to build 11,000 flats on New Territories plot originally slated for 300 villas   18%

Two of Hong Kong’s biggest property developers plan to squeeze more than 11,000 homes onto a parcel of land they had originally earmarked for 300 villas, as government schemes to boost land supply face delays.Sun Hung Kai Properties and Hongkong Land Holdings have applied to increase the plot ratio – the gross floor area of a project compared to the size of the plot – of a newly-converted piece of farmland in the New Territories.They want to raise the ratio by more than 13 times so that the 1.5…

Hong Kong land sale at former Kowloon airport receives muted response from developers   -5%

The biggest housing site on offer at Hong Kong’s former Kai Tak airport received a cold shoulder on Friday as property developers took a more cautious stance on the local property market following recent downgrades to the city’s economic outlook.The plot designated Area 4A Site 1, located on the former runway with a gross floor area of 1.08 million square feet, received just four bids, according to the Lands Department.Property analysts said they had expected the site to attract from five to…